Co-director Joe Russo teases how Avengers: Infinity War sets Josh Brolin’s Thanos up to be like “Darth Vader for a new generation.” In a film that has to succeed in order to feel like a satisfying culmination of every film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that has led up to it, there’s perhaps no aspect of Avengers: Infinity War facing as high of expectations, as Brolin’s Thanos is. While fan expectations can be a tricky thing to manage to live up to often, these expectations have been purposefully created by Marvel Studios over the years – by continually teasing the character with multiple cameo appearances and references in previous films, building The Mad Titan up as the end-all-be-all of comic book movie villains.
So to say that the complexity and believability of Thanos is integral to the overall success of Avengers: Infinity War would be an understatement. Never before has Marvel quite had to make sure one of their onscreen villains leaves an impact like they do with Thanos, and it looks like The Russo Brothers are more than well-aware of what they need to pull off with this particular Marvel antagonist.
While recently speaking with Comicbook.com, one-half of the film’s directing duo, Joe Russo, spoke about how he hopes Thanos’ ruthless, sadistic nature in Avengers: Infinity War will help the character be remembered as one of the greatest film villains of all time:
“The stakes are incredibly high. I wanted to turn Thanos into Darth Vader for a new generation. He’s an incredibly intense character. Sociopathic. He takes no prisoners. I think the audience needs to be prepared when they go see these movies.”
For any studio, getting a character like Thanos right would be difficult, but the pressure is even higher for Marvel, after enduring years and years of both fans and critics alike calling the studio out for its wide array of lackluster film villains. So, when finally bringing Thanos front-and-center in Infinity War, there’s been an understandable concern that the studio might not be able to deliver a version of the character that lives up to the hype. And having the character be remembered on the same level as Darth Vader, is another matter entirely.
Fortunately, it looks and feels like The Russo Brothers and the film’s screenwriters, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, are taking the right approach with the villain in the next two team-up films, by making Thanos the main character in Avengers: Infinity War. Combining that unique approach with the fact that a talented, proven actor like Josh Brolin is playing Thanos, and it looks like Marvel has managed to stack the odds in their favor (yet again) when facing this particular, daunting hurdle. Now, all that’s left to be seen is if Avengers: Infinity War can actually manage to both succeed as a film, and as a character piece for one of the greatest villains in comic book history.
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